Chapter 33: A Terrific idea

Wu Hai had gone hungry for a whole day. He was fairly irritated as he hadn’t gotten anything done the whole afternoon except for taking a nap.
It was already evening when he woke up. He could be considered both lucky and unlucky. The lucky part was that he could enjoy Yuan Zhou’s cooking, while unlucky part was that he wasn’t able to have his meal immediately nor was he able to eat the new dish.
Not even after 7 or 8 minutes, Yuan Zhou carried out the dishes.
“Your set meals are done.”
The grandpa and grandma looked at each other. They seemed to agree that this Egg Fried Rice seemed rather decent.
The grandma had been cooking her whole life. A simple Egg Fried Rice was definitely not a problem for her. However, the Egg Fried Rice served here was golden in color. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the greasy kind of golden, instead, it gave people the feeling of the sunshine. The fragrance was also perfect, not too strong. Nevertheless, while thinking of the price, the grandma still felt severe heartache.
Yet, once the Egg Fried Rice was served, she felt the dish indeed deserve the price of 288RMB.
The grandma didn’t enjoy greasy foods, so she felt the Egg Fried Rice might be oily contrary to its appearance. Therefore, she picked up the bowl of seaweed soup, preparing to take a sip first.
“Hu”
As humans got older, their taste sense would deteriorate. They would subconsciously prefer food with a stronger taste, hence would put more salt while making dishes. The grandma had thought the seaweed soup would be as tasteless as water, like the soup served in other restaurants.
However, after the sip, the grandma tasted something she had never experienced before in her past dozen of years. She felt as if she had returned to when she was a young girl, with an extremely sensitive sense of taste again. She could even taste the slight sweetness in the water and the delicate flavor of the seaweed.
The grandma took another sip in disbelief, realizing it was not an illusion and she could truly taste all the various flavors in the soup. That made the grandma, who had been unable to taste any delicate flavors ever since she became old, quite delighted. After all, she was also fond of fine foods when she was young.
After the experience with the seaweed soup, the grandma started to look forward to the pickled radish and the Egg Fried Rice. However, she still decided to taste a piece of pickled radish first. The crystal jade-like radish and the brown chopsticks gave a fine contrast, making it look appetizing.
“What will the taste of the Egg Fried Rice eventually be like?
The grandma muttered in her heart. Her discontented manner had already vanished from her face, leaving over only curiosity for the next dish, and of course, a sense of delight.
Needless to say, the grandpa beside her was eating happily, as well. He only felt it was absolutely wise and lucky of him to go out for a stroll this morning. He was old, but had a harmonious and happy family. Their sons and grandsons all treated them well, hence the old couples now only had simple requests for their remaining life. To eat and sleep well. Yuan Zhou’s restaurant had fulfilled such requirements perfectly.
The man in a suit was Wu Zhou, with a rather rare surname. He was actually a programmer, the kind of job that usually included working overtime until late at night, with a demanding boss. But he was fairly lucky too, as he had a comely girlfriend whom he had been with for more than 5 years.
As a diligent programmer who loves his girlfriend, his biggest dream was to buy an apartment and marry her. Just for that, he voluntarily moved to this place far away from the city center to work and to get a better pay despite being further away from his girlfriend.
Wu Zhou was well paid, his monthly salary of 22,000 or so. He deposited 20,000RMB to his girlfriend’s bank account every month in order to save for a new apartment and only kept 2000RMB for his own living expense. As for other expenses, he had a lot of help from his friends. The telephone fees were paid by others and the house rent was paid by his girlfriend in case he forgot about it. Moreover, his girlfriend bought him his clothes, shoes and underwears. Just thinking about that, he felt quite happy.
Before Yuan Zhou started the business, he was unable to use up his living expense of 2000RMB as he was quite busy with work and neither smoked nor drank. Furthermore, his girlfriend would come and cook for him at home every weekend. Therefore, he often boasted to his girlfriend proudly.
“Your boyfriend earns so much yet never squanders money.”
Looking at the set meal worth 288RMB in front of him, Wu Zhou ate happily but also pitifully, since his expenditure today had already exceeded 400RMB. It was only the middle of the month, but he only had 500RMB left in his wallet.
As for the one who was eating while standing, Wu Hai, he never had such problems. He was wealthy and didn’t care about these minor issues.
“Pa.”
Wu Hai directly poured all the pickled radishes into the Egg Fried Rice, not leaving behind a single drop of juice. Then he put the small plate and the seaweed soup on the table.
“Biaji Biaji”
He started to eat while still carrying the plate. God knows how happily he ate.
Looking at the people who were eating delightedly and hearing the sound of chomping food, the customers who were still waiting for seats suffered greatly and couldn’t wait any longer, thus they all requested to eat while standing.
In front of fine delicacies, eating while standing or even squatting was not a problem for them.
From that day on, Yuan Zhou started to prepare the Soup Dumplings when he got up at 6:30 in the morning, with only 100 servings. After they were sold out in about an hour, he would close the restaurant until noontime, then open it for business for two hours at noon and three hours in the evening, a total of 6 hours only. Usually, nobody would still be working after 7:00 p.m. in the office building unless they were working overtime.
Now those that used to come at odd hours could only drop by to have their meals within those 6 hours. As a result, instead of decreasing, Yuan Zhou’s business surprisingly increased. During those 6 hours, the restaurant was full of customers. There were even lots of people queuing up at the entrance.
Time flew and it was already Friday, when Yuan Zhou had the best business during the evening. Surprisingly, Wu Zhou didn’t need to work overtime today, and even got off one hour earlier than usual. This could be considered a miracle for him.
“Wu Zhou, don’t leave so quickly. Why don’t we go to eat kebabs?” While carrying his bag and walking outside after clocking out, an arm reached for his shoulder and a handsome face showed up in front of him.
“Sorry, I’m not going.” Wu Zhou said lightly in a daze.
“What’s the matter with you? You seem spiritless even after several days without working overtime. Huh?” with one of his arms on Wu Zhou’s shoulder, the handsome guy winked at him and said with a wry smile.
“You think too much. I’d just want to eat Egg Fried Rice.” Wu Zhou looked rather downhearted and didn’t even want to talk anything.
“I haven’t eaten it in 5 days. When can this month end?” while speaking, Wu Zhou showed a little spirit and said in anger.
The handsome guy rolled his eyes and said, “You can eat the Egg Fried Rice everywhere. Is it really worth eating so frequently? You sure you don’t want eat the kebabs with us?”
“No.” Wu Zhou removed the arm from his shoulder while thinking about the Egg Fried Rice Set in Yuan Zhou’s restaurant and the only remaining 300RMB in his pocket.
Smoothing his hair impatiently, Wu Zhou walked downstairs to a snack street, preparing to eat anything to fulfill the physical needs.
Nowadays, Wu Zhou felt that any other food except for the dishes in Yuan Zhou’s restaurant were merely to fulfill his physical needs in order to stay alive.
As he walked pass a small eatery he often visited, he thought of a terrific idea and walked into it.
“Boss, please give me one serving of Egg Fried Rice to take out. And pack it using a strong container.”
“Sure, one moment, please. It’ll be ready in no time,” the boss answered with a big smile on his face.

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